The Sweet Road to Synthesis of Bacterial Sugar Structures

Project dates: 2018-06-04 00:00:00 - 2022-10-16 00:00:00

Bacteria produce long chains of sugars or glycans on their cell surface known as capsules. These often contain important nonulosonic acid sugars (NulOs) that can be uniquely harvested for use in the nutrition, cosmetic and bioremediation industries. By understanding the natural pathways of their synthesis, 'glycans-by-design' can be synthetically created with potent tailor-made properties. This project aims to characterise the synthesis pathways of NulOs in bacteria using a combination of bioinformatics and experimental methodologies. A catalogue of data produced by this project will further be developed into a database for public use, which is anticipated to significantly advance industrial applications in glycoengineering.

Funding / Grants

  • Australian Research Council

Dr Johanna Kenyon, bacterial polysaccharide capsule researcher